The trip had been booked for February, an uncommonly-snowy February that, ultimately, let us down. As I had leant out of my window that morning, it was clear that no buses would pass my way or, in fact, the way of the estate. It was too far to risk it.
However, this story is not about how we missed the first trip, but how our spiritual adventure took a turn for the worst when we finally reached our destination the next academic year.
At 9.05 by my wrist-watch, Mr. Smith, Religious Studies teacher extraordinaire, and also half-mad man, arrived in the entrance hall of our school, ushering us to him. I watched as he almost rebounded off the walls, boxes stuffed with fabrics and rolls and rolls of paper tucked under his arms.
“Ladies and…oh, just ladies,” he called to us, momentarily forgetting that our year was one of those still to be integrated with the new lot of boys who were making the school co-educational, due to its anniversary. “Let us begin making our way towards the coach. That way!”
An explorer, he skipped onwards without further ado, followed by our body of bemused Year Eleven girls.
Of course, we were rather thrilled that we had the chance to go on this trip, since we had almost missed out on the regularity. Plus, here we had the chance to take a break from what hassle of GCSEs. Nobody knew what we expected, but we knew it was going to be some fun!
The head of year, Mrs. Hinger, was there waiting for us at the bus. As she caught my eye, she smiled- a gesture which I returned, but only half-heartedly; we had been good acquaintances for a while, but she was one of the women in my life with whom I could not get along. She was too smart and permed, whilst I was all over the place, hair a mess and jacket mis-buttoned. However, I could not deny that it was she who had given me the new information for this trip. I did like to appear omniscient. It was was my card over the other students, even if nothing else could be.
We, still as a mass, boarded the coach, segregating ourselves into our little groups as we did so. I slid into an aisle-seat, catching the eye of the girl in the window-seat beside me: my best friend, Rebecca. She slipped a headphone out of one ear and passed it to me. Rock music blared out. Happily, I slipped the device into my own ear. We two were ready…and by the sound of the rabble in my other ear, so were the rest of my year.
So, with a quick humorous wave to the school building, the coach set off and we were ready to begin.